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10 Ways to do Camping Right

By Misty Pratt

We recently returned from a family camping trip, and I enjoyed observing the habits and behaviours of other campers. In such close proximity, how can you not? Your entire life is on display - from the sandy/dripping clothes you leave hanging on the line, to the screaming night terrors your kids have at 1 a.m., to the domestic disputes that even the bears can hear.

I noted a few ways in which some campers seem to do things right (and by right, I mean very, very wrong):

  1. Arrive at your campsite after dark. Make a lot of noise setting up camp, and shine every bright light you have in all directions. 
  2. Bring your dog, tie them up to the tree and then head to the beach for a day of sand and sun. Hear that gentle breeze traveling across the open waters? No, actually, it's the howling of your mutt left behind at the campsite.
  3. After your day of sand and sun, make sure to bathe your toddler in one of the comfort station sinks. It's actually the best place to do it, as you don't need to worry about them slipping in the shower stalls - there's only a slight risk of them slipping off the counter and falling to their death.
  4. If you're traveling in style (aka, a camping trailer or RV), make sure to back up over all the trees and plants when you're parking Bertha. It promotes new growth.
  5. For said trailer, be sure to drain your holding tank into the nearby bushes. It's fantastic fertilizer for the local flora and fauna.
  6. Camping dishes are such a pain - you have to boil the water, mix it with cool water, and then have an EXTRA bucket for rinsing. A much easier method is to wash all your dishes at the water spout. No one minds the bits of food that get left behind at the source of their drinking water.
  7. Make sure to play music, all day and night.
  8. Berate your children loudly. Call them names, and make sure other campers know that corporal punishment is really the best option (positive parenting...what the heck is that?)
  9. To start a fire, drag in logs from some nearby bush and then pour lighter fluid all over them.
  10. The "quiet after 10 p.m. rule" is actually just a guideline. It's much better to gauge quiet time by the number of beers you've had to drink (3 beers = early night; 12 beers = 3 a.m.?)

These are all real-life examples of the ways in which people like to camp in our provincial parks. I've witnessed them all. Hold me.

What's your biggest pet peeve while camping with others? If you say "sanctimonious people who write passive-aggressive articles about other families when they get home from camping," you have a completely valid point ;)